The Dark Portal


Worth reading 😎

The story doesn't offer any surprises for the genre but the writing is solid and makes it a breezy read.

The Dark Portal is one part Stargate and one part Alien. We have our nerdy outsider, Professor Darrovan, brought into a secret project to study a cloud-like anomaly. But as Darrovan starts to make breakthroughs, all hell breaks loose instead. It's a straightforward, maybe even predictable, plot. One difference is that it's not Earth, and these aren't human characters. They're a humanoid race of lizard people with scaly skin, claws, and sharp teeth. However, I never felt like the change in setting brought anything interesting to the book.

If I had one major complaint about the story is that it feels like a novel missing its second act. We are introduced to the setting, the characters, and the plot. Then we dive into the third act build-up without ever getting to know most of the characters. It doesn't seem like a story designed to fit the space of a novella, just a novel with all of the development parts cut out.

Since we don't have much time to develop most of the characters, only two really stand out to me. The main one is our protagonist, Professor Darrovan, and the other being the head of the project, old man Lias. Darrovan is presented as a paranoid shut-in thrust into an environment he's not suited for. As our unlikely hero, he often doubts himself but forces himself into action when it counts. He's likable, but as with all of the characters, I would have liked to learn a bit more about him. No one really has a backstory to explore.

The two women of the book, Sheedah and Brelo, definitely could have used more detail. There's little to distinguish one from the other. And the romance is absent when the two love interests simply have no chemistry.

I was pleasantly surprised by the writing. Overall, it's solid, and there are some passages that really nail the tension and atmosphere. It's an enjoyable read. Belote's style doesn't clog the pacing or overstay its welcome. It draws you in and keeps you reading.

The Dark Portal is a good read and consistently enjoyable. The story doesn't offer any surprises for the genre, and the lack of world-building for these lizard people was a missed opportunity, but the writing is solid and makes it a breezy read. It's a book I could certainly recommend for sci-fi junkies.

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I've always been an avid reader, at least as much as I could afford to be. In the past few years, I started focusing more on my writing, and a few months ago decided to set up my own website to grow my author platform.

The Dome

About the author

Kyle Belote is a prior active-duty Marine, writer, musician, & painter. He’s lived in Texas, Hawaii, and Okinawa, Japan. When not writing, he enjoys sketching, researching companies and investing, and reading/listening to audiobooks. Kyle enjoys a diverse collection of films, books, and shows. view profile

Published on July 31, 2020

30000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Horror

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